Malaysia Airlines flight 370 went missing on March 8, 2014, en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 people aboard the aircraft. Meanwhile, in February – March 2014, Russia annexed the Crimean peninsula, following a military intervention in the Ukrainian revolution. In July that year another Malaysia Airlines plane – MH17 – was actually shot down over Crimea, killing 298 people.
Science journalist Jeff Wise told Channel 5 documentary ‘Flight MH370’ that he believes it was Russian military intelligence behind the MH370 disappearance.
He claimed the Russian Government wanted to distract the world from the conflict in Crimea.
Mr Wise said: “It turns out that the people who did it were the Russians – this was an effort by Russian military intelligence.
“You have to understand this comes in the context of Russia has just annexed Crimea.
“It’s getting a lot of heat for it and would really love for people to talk about something else, anything else.
“And so the world’s attention shifts completely away from this nasty business in Ukraine and all the way over here.”
The basis for Mr Wise’s theory is the idea that Russian intelligence officers managed to interfere with the plane’s communications to make it send out false information.
The official investigation concluded that the plane most likely ended up at the bottom of the Indian Ocean.
“It is possible to create a set of data that looks like it’s taking you to the southern Indian Ocean when it’s actually going in the opposite direction.
“So you could create what is essentially a false trail of breadcrumbs.”
No wreckage from MH370 has ever been discovered in the Indian Ocean, but debris has washed up on islands in the sea, as well as on the west coast of Africa.
Mr Wise claimed these were “planted evidence” used to further mislead the authorities.
He pointed out that just a few months later, a “sister ship” to MH370 – one of only 14 Malaysia Airlines 777-200ER planes in the world – was shot down by Russia-backed rebels in Crimea.
Suggesting these could be related, he said: “If you’ve carried out this incredibly technically sophisticated act of altering Inmarsat data in a way to provide this really subtle innuendo about where the plane went, throwing a piece of plane in the ocean is easy.”
However, other experts have dismissed Mr Wise’s theory.